Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to spend some romantic time with your significant other, but what about the other 364 days this year? Relationship self-care is essential year-round, especially in our busy world. Here are six ways to reconnect with your partner and nurture your relationship this year.
Take a Walk Together
This is an excellent distraction-free way to talk casually with your partner and catch up. Getting some sunshine, fresh air, and mild exercise will lift both of your moods. If you have recently moved to a new town, taking a walk can be a great way to explore your new neighborhood together. If you live in a city, walking at your local park can help you reconnect with nature and unwind from the stresses of hectic city life.
Have a Weekly Date Night
You’re probably sick of hearing this, but you and your partner really should have a weekly date night. Some couples find this idea intimidating because they think it means they have to spend a lot of money or go through the challenge of finding a babysitter on a Friday night. Date night doesn’t have to mean dressing up and going out. Any night of the week that you set aside for quality couple time counts.
You could be chatting over a glass of wine or watching a movie after you put the kids to bed, or leaving the house to do a free and casual activity like a picnic. The whole point is to set aside a couple of hours once a week to reconnect. This is especially important if you have kids. You need time to talk together as adults and to rekindle your romance.
Eat at Least One Meal Together Everyday
There are all kinds of studies that tout the benefits of eating dinner together as a family. Even if you are a family of two, eating a meal together can bring you closer and help you feel more relaxed. If dinner isn’t an option, try for breakfast. Giving yourself a little extra time in the morning to chat with your partner will start your day out on a good note.
If you need to get dinner on the table quickly at night, try making it together. Not only will this cut down on meal prep time, but you’ll also be spending quality time with your partner. If neither of you feels confident in your cooking abilities, consider subscribing to a fresh meal delivery service. These services deliver ingredients and easy to follow cooking instructions to your doorstep, saving you time at the store and in the kitchen. Time with your partner doing everyday tasks can be just as nurturing as time spent on a fancy date.
Studies have shown that couples who go on “adventurous” dates feel closer afterward than couples who have more sedate outings. Challenging yourselves to do new things together can breathe fresh life into your relationship. You don’t have to climb mountains together ( but if that’s your thing, then go for it!) adventure can take many forms. You could take a class together and learn a new skill like pottery or ballroom dancing. You could take up a new hobby together- say furniture building or cycling. Just find something that you are both willing to try and go for it.
Travel can be the ultimate adventure, and you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to reap the benefits. Going anywhere you’ve never been, even if it’s just a national park three hours from your house, will give you that feeling of discovery.
These sorts of activities mimic the feeling of first being together when everything felt like an exciting adventure. Sharing new experiences can keep your relationship feeling fresh, even when you’ve been together for decades.
Pamper Each Other
“Pampering” your spouse might make you think of giving them a massage or bringing them breakfast in bed. Those sorts of gestures are usually appreciated, but everyday things can often go even further in a relationship. Take some time this year to really tune in to your partner’s life and figure out what their needs are.
Is your wife overwhelmed with housework? Do your husband’s feet hurt at night? Don’t be afraid to ask your partner what they need from you or what you could do to make their life easier. It might be picking up a few more chores or giving a foot massage a couple of times a week. You might find that your significant other is craving more quality time or wants you to ask them about their day. Simple things like this can go a long way in a relationship.
Try setting aside some time every week to each practice your own individual self-care. Offer to trade-off watching the kids while the other person meets a friend for lunch or takes a bubble bath. Your spouse will feel pampered if they know that you care about meeting their need for rest and relaxation.
Rewind The Clock
If you and your partner have been together for a long time, you may find it beneficial to take a moment to remember your first years together. Recreating a memorable date or going back to the place you took your honeymoon can help you remember why you fell in love in the first place. Remembering where you started will show you how far you’ve come and how your relationship has grown.
It’s also not a bad idea to bring up some of the topics you may have discussed in the early days of your relationship and see if your partner’s feelings have changed. Do they still want six kids? Do they still think an around -the -world cruise is the best way to spend your retirement? Sometimes in the hectic rush of life, we forget to check in with our partner and see how they are growing and changing as a person. It’s never too late to take a step back and get to know your significant other again.